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First Person

Celebrating My Bar Mitzvah in Hawaii at Age 74
I received my bar mitzvah at the age of 74 via a Zoom video call with Chabad Rabbi Levi Gerlitzky, here in Kona, Hawaii.
Don’t Be Scared to Crawl Out of Your Covid Cage
After the vaccine, I was again afraid and anxious, this time about going out.
Blessings in Lockdown: My Unexpected Water Birth
As my due date of Oct. 1 neared, it became clear that not only would this be a COVID birth, it would be during the three-week (or longer) lockdown in Israel.
How COVID-19 Has Helped Improve My Marriage
I had become a firm believer in the maxim: “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” And then everything changed.
‘I Am Enough’: Finding My Value Without Comparison
The world doesn’t need millions of clones. The Torah wants our individuality.
Corona and the Transformative Power of Holding Back
There are so many people who might never before have exercised such a degree of holding back for the sake of another.
Tapping Into My Newfound Faith in the Face of COVID-19
I saw not only the beauty that Judaism has to offer, but slowly, the hand of G‑d in life’s little details. Little did I know that G‑d was setting in place the tools I would desperately need in my life, more than I ever could have imagined.
Sitting Shiva Alone: The Power of One
I could not have foreseen was that I literally would be sitting alone in a world that has plunged us all into isolation.
Sitting Shiva Alone, During Corona
My husband comes from a large family. Never would I have imagined that he would be sitting as a mourner alone.
All in G-d’s Hands: Welcoming New Life in the Era of Corona
I can’t see clients in person or do treatments. I miss my clients, miss the personal human touch and contact with them, as well as with my friends and peers. My clinic is empty and so, like most of the world, is our tangible source of income.
When You Have Just 60 Seconds to Say Goodbye
He hadn’t spoken on the phone in several months, and besides, he was no longer conscious. Any conversation would be one-way.
“I’m sorry,” he told the shocked family. “We took out the wrong casket.”
Secret Weapon: How This 34-Year-Old Father Survived Coronavirus
The media cannot explain how this man came back from the brink, but we have the inside scoop.
Why I Decided to Immerse in the Mikvah During the Coronavirus Epidemic
I had heard that many women were reluctant to immerse at this time.
Memories of Homelessness (and Home) During COVID-19
Before we could call America our new home, we lived as stateless refugees in two camps in Austria and Italy.
I Was Sent Into Quarantine by Error
I dialed the number for the Health Ministry. They told me that if the message was sent to me, it was not a mistake, and that I must go into quarantine for two weeks
As Dark as the World Gets, I Saw Light Peek Through
My father took ill and was taken to the hospital. Intubated. Critical state.
The Virus Is Changing Everything, Even a Makeshift Wedding in Israel
The bride and groom probably didn’t have their fantasy wedding. But they came face to face with what’s most important in life.
3 Ways Quarantine Is Helping Me Refine My Communication Skills
Wouldn’t social distancing be ideal for me? Sure! If it weren’t for my husband and small children who also inhabit my two-bedroom condo. Throw in a baby who doesn’t yet sleep through the night, and you have the perfect recipe for a snippy wife and mother.
A Grief Therapist Faces Grief
6 Truths for When the Pain Cannot Be Contained
I wondered if all of my personal and professional work during the past 40 years could possibly sustain me and my loved ones and my beloved “students” (aka clients).
Thirsting for Connection During COVID
Over the last many months, so many of the things that we thought we needed to connect to G‑d and spirituality haven’t been possible.
Unity in Jerusalem During a Pandemic
No children are in the street, no one is strolling. The parks are blocked off; all stores, except for supermarkets, are closed. It’s quiet. It’s empty. It’s eerie. It’s so sad, and I know it’s not just us. It’s the current state of the world.
‘I Am Alive’: Not Taking Life for Granted During COVID-19
This new situation has made me think more of my mortality and to appreciate life, but reading the stories of health-care professionals and hearing about all the death and suffering is taking a toll on even the strongest among us.
Investing in What Is Lasting and Eternal: Three COVID-19 Stories
I view “Foresight” as a special gift. We are sometimes afforded the singular ability to look at our lives from the vantage point of “Hindsight,” with all the wisdom contained therein, yet with the chronological positioning to be able to let that wisdom influence the choices we make today.
20/20 Vision for 2020
Our lives have been poisoned by fear and anxiety.
The Corona Birth That Actually Went Right
She reached her ninth month and finally was just about to start her 38th week when her husband came home with the news that his coworker was diagnosed with COVID-19.
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